Media Release – Donors rally to help Ben and Tyra

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• New motorised wheels mean mobility for Ben and
• Tyra finds learning easier with magnified laptop screen

Keeping up with his school friends is now much easier for eight year old Ben, thanks to the efforts of his school and generous donors who stepped up to help him.

The Avondale Primary School student has Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and with his condition deteriorating, he needed a motorised chair to ensure he could continue playing with his friends at recess. But at a cost of $12,888 a new chair was beyond the reach of his parents: even with the contribution from SWEP – the government’s State-wide Equipment Program – they needed to pay $3,720.

School student welfare coordinator, Kerry Gribbin was aware of Children First’s ‘Between the Gaps’ program and approached the Foundation for funding support on behalf of Ben and his family.

Children First agreed immediately and began fundraising. It was then that Foundation supporter Dimension Data stepped in and offered to raise the money needed to help Ben. In a short time, the staff at Dimension Data had raised $ 6,463.70 – more than was needed to pay the gap funding on Ben’s chair.

It was then that Ms Gribbin mentioned another child at the same school in need of funding support. Dimension Data agreed to contribute the balance to enable Grade 1 student Tyra to receive the note pad and screen magnifier and reader she so desperately needed. Tyra has septic-optic dysplasia, a condition which limits the development of her vision and this technology will help develop skills to improve her learning.

Tyra shows the Dimension Data team her new magnified screen

“These were vital items for both children,” said Ms Gribbin. “With a motorised chair Ben is able to participate more easily in family and school activities and it makes a huge difference to his quality of life. And for Tyra having her work enlarged has enhanced her learning experience.

“Both children have grown in confidence and enthusiasm since receiving the equipment. The school could not have funded these items so we are very grateful to Children First and Dimension Data,” Ms Gribbin said.

“School life is as much about being involved as it is about going through the learning process,” said Dimension Data CEO Rodd Cunico. “With Ben and Tyra, we had the chance to allow them to really belong with the class group. We didn’t think twice about supporting them.”

Children First’s ‘Between the Gaps’ program supports families with disabled or chronically ill children by providing the ‘gap’ funding for essential equipment and services that are only partially funded by government support agencies